Gardening in the winter

I have been busy plowing the soil in the garden and making leaf mold for the next spring. There were too much gravel and construction debris buried in the ground. I know some constructors used to do that before we moved here. Some of them have bothered the shrubbery of azalea along the entrance road to our home to grow enough. I decided to clear those bothering gravel etc from the soil under the shrubbery.

The gardener of almost the same age as mine has helped me with this project. He is a retiree from a local municipal office having worked there for gardening/park management for decades. Long before retirement, he decided to go on gardening as his profession. He has studied about gardening and obtained a national license. Speniding a couple of years under another gardener as a trainee, he has started his own business. His love and enthusiasm for gardening and trees are amazing. He seems to be happier than ever working in gardens. Looking at some tree for a while as he often is, he admires how beautiful and grand it is. I have learned a lot from him as for not only the technique of gardening but also the love for plants/trees. Being asked how long he would go on working, he answered, smiling gently, that he would do it as long as his health permits it. He is an amateur flutist as well. My wife has known him through her flutist teacher. That is why we have asked him to work at our home. It was my pleasure to know him as a friend of mine. 

With the help of this reliable gardener, I have finished this project a few weeks ago. It was a tough work. There should be even more debris left in the other parts of ground. As my wife always says, however, I would let it stay there since this is not our eternal home. The gardener has approved my idea to make leaf mold at the place where we digged out the debris. We have put the fallen leaves, which had been from the zelkova tree, magnolia, persimmon trees or chestnut tree, into the digged holes. The soil sifted to get rid of the debris has been returned there on the fallen leaves. The ground will become water maintaining leaf mold good for farming by next spring. Strawberry close to the ground will be lead to that places with runners next summer. I could grow some tomato plants as well.

I have also made flower beds in the other parts of the garden. Using the leaf mold already made from leaves etc at a corner of the garden, I have made them, where my wife has planted pansies a couple of weeks ago. The flowers are still blooming despite of this extreme cold wave. They might go on pleasing us with tiny lovely flowers until next spring.

Some veggies are still growing in this hard weather. A chinese cabbage is grown even though it has been bitten by bugs. These bites by bugs mean no chemical pesticide has been used.

It will be the winter solstice very soon. It will be the time when sun starts to shine longer and brighter. Hopefully, we could step into that season of hope blessed with good health.

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